Car Insurance FAQs
To help you understand car insurance a bit better, we have made a list of the most common questions car insurance customers ask when taking out insurance.
If your question isn’t on the list or you want to know more information then you may find it in our special Car Insurance Jargon Buster.
Why do I need car insurance?
Simply because driving a vehicle without insurance is illegal.
You also need it for tax purposes as well as the safety and welfare of you, your passengers, other motorists and the fellow public.
Being caught without insurance can result in hefty fines, bans from motoring as well as prison sentences.
What types of insurance policies are available to me?
The main insurance policies available are Third Party (cover for a third party only, not your vehicle) Third Party Fire and Theft (cover for a third party or if your vehicle is stolen or subject to a fire) and Comprehensive cover (the full works).
There is also an option of Telematics insurance which has been introduced for younger drivers, to help lower their premiums. To find out more about Telematics insurance, read our guide here. Consider the cover of each policy to find the one that best suits your needs and driving routines.
I drive to work but I don’t use it for my job, should I tell my insurer this?
You need to tell your insurance provider what you use your car for; domestic and social use only, social and domestic including commuting to and from one place of work, or, business use as well as the social and domestic use, including commuting.
You will also need to add to your policy if you drive outside of the UK, or if you are planning to. Failure to not be accurate with this information could result in your policy becoming invalid and a claim not being paid.
Why am I being asked for my job title?
When taking out car insurance, you will be asked what your occupation is. Insurance companies over many years have been collating information following claims, with your job title being one of them.
Your occupation could include a lot of travelling, even if it is just your normal commute. Whilst it goes without saying, if you are a racing car driver, expect to pay a higher premium, but other occupations that can cause higher premiums can include actors, musicians, journalists and tradesmen such as electricians and plumbers.
Nurses have been known to have benefitted from lower insurance premiums due to the nursing profession tending to be a female-dominated profession and are statistically deemed to be safer drivers, although gender is no longer used in insurance pricing.
Why do I have to state my annual mileage?
Your annual mileage is something that can determine the cost of your insurance quite dramatically. So, ok, we aren’t saying “don’t go anywhere and enjoy yourself” but your mileage is taken into account. The further you drive, the more you are on the road, therefore making you a little more susceptible to possible accidents or making claims.
Try to be as accurate as possible on your mileage with your insurer as underestimating could invalidate your policy and a claim may not be paid.
What is a No Claims Bonus?
A No Claims Bonus (NCB), or No Claims Discount (NCD), is awarded to drivers each insurance year when no claims have been made on the policy.
They are usually only accepted by insurers if they were earned in the UK and if you have a company car that is insured for you period may not count towards your NCB.
The more NCB years you have, the cheaper your insurance can be. Take note, some companies will not accept expired NCB years after 2 years.
Some companies say that they offer up to 90% discount with full NCB entitlement but remember, this is only based on their rates which may still be more expensive than an insurer offering a lower level of NCB discount.
What is protected No Claims Bonus?
An option when taking out car insurance is to protect your No Claims Bonus. There is likely to be an increase in your premium when doing this. If you do decide to protect your NCB, in the event of a claim being made on your policy following an accident, you will not lose your no claim years. However, at the next time of renewal, your policy may be more expensive.
It more often than not is the case that you can only build NCB years when you are the policy holder and not a named driver. Again, check with your insurance company what their policy is.
I have changed insurers and they are asking me for proof of my No Claims Bonus. What does this mean?
If you have changed insurance provider, then it is very normal for them to want evidence of your NCB (No Claims Bonus).
Proof for your next insurer can be your most recent renewal notice that the previous insurer (the one you are leaving) sent you, or, you can request a letter from the insurance company which confirms your entitlement.
What is an excess?
Most car insurance policies have an excess which means that is the amount paid by you as the policy holder in the event of making a claim.
There will also be an option to add a voluntary excess. The ‘total excess’ is the amount of both combined together.
Choosing an excess of a higher value could help you pay a lower premium at the time of renewing or obtaining your policy, however, you must remember that if you select a higher excess amount, you should ensure that you are able to afford this amount in the event of making a claim.
I have added a spoiler onto my car; do I need to inform my insurer of the modification?
To an extent, any cosmetic changes you make to your vehicle will affect the insurance, so, making your insurance company aware of such changes is a must.
Cars with added extras that are not standard factory fitted items are seen by insurers as potential high risk for theft and would cost more to insure. Not disclosing these optional extras as they are known as, could invalidate your insurance policy and a claim may not be paid.
What difference will it really make to my quote if my car is parked on the road or in a garage over night?
A big difference.
If you were to keep your vehicle in a garage or driveway over night, it is seen by insurance companies as safer and less likely to be stolen or damaged. To state that your vehicle, for example, is kept in a garage over night, where in fact, if you were to claim and it was discovered you didn’t have a garage, then this could invalidate your insurance policy and a claim may not be paid, honesty is the best policy when stating where your vehicle is kept.
I once had a car accident, but it wasn’t my fault. Do I need to tell my insurance company this?
Yes. You must tell your insurance company of anything that was considered as an accident and went through an insurance company, whether it was your fault or not. In most cases, insurance companies need to know about the last 5 years history of your accidents, as well as motoring convictions. You will need to have a record of the date they happened as well as the details.
I can’t remember the details of my car accident. What can I do?
Finding out the information of when you had your car accident will all be recorded with the insurance company that you were with at the time of the incident.
If you are still unsure then you can put an estimated date and claim amount, however, this should be noted with the insurance provider that it is an estimate and not accurate.
What details do I need to give for my speeding conviction?
The insurer will need to know the full details of any points you received as well as any fine you were charged.
If you cannot remember these details then they will be fully recorded on your driver’s licence. It is important to update your insurer as soon as you have confirmation of your driving conviction as failure to do so can invalidate your insurance and a claim may not be paid.
I have moved, should I tell my insurer straight away or at the time of my next renewal?
Any changes to your personal circumstances like an address change, name alteration, change in vehicle, should all get disclosed to your insurer straightaway.
If you were to make a claim but your insurer does not have your vehicle being located at a particular address, or if you have not recorded your new vehicle, which may be more expensive to insure, it is likely your policy will automatically be invalid and will be held against you.
We here at Bobatoo are a comparison website, and are therefore not able to make changes on your current polices. You would need to speak to your insurance provider direct.
Is it cheaper to pay my insurance policy as a lump sum or by monthly direct debit?
If you were to pay your policy by monthly direct debit, it could work out slightly more expensive than if you were to pay as a lump sum. This is because of the interest rate you are to pay when making direct debit payments.
Having said that, do not be put off by paying by direct debit. This is often the most cost effective way for many people, due to not having the lump sum amount available at the time of taking out the policy.
Do I really need to opt for legal cover on my policy?
In general, Legal Expenses Cover (also shown as L.E.C) is not part of your standard policy and is an optional extra. It covers you for such things like dealing with compensation for any injuries, dealing with third party injuries if they are claiming off you, reclaiming vehicle damage if you have a Third Party policy, and even help with reclaiming your excess from the responsible party if you have comprehensive cover.
It is a great benefit to opt for this cover, as without it, a serious claim could become very costly. Some insurers may offer different levels of legal expenses so it is always worth asking them what you are getting for your money.
My car registration is not being automatically recognised?
It may be the case that our system does not recognise your registration number via the automatic finder or even that your car details are not correct via the automatic finder. Either way you can select to manually enter your details.
If you have entered all of the details accurately and it is still unable to find your vehicle, it may be the case that we are unable to quote you at this time.
Some vehicles may require specialist insurance or there may be an error on the information you have provided making us unable to give you a quote due to this inaccuracy.